Thursday, July 4, 2013

Pit Stop in San Salvador: Return to Central America

I'm sitting in a coffee shop in the San Salvador airport. I didn't notice the name as I checked the menu and eagerly selected 3 different kinds of pupusas, corn-flour tortillas, filled with: cheese, beans and chicharron.
I am writing this post after an extended blogging dry spell, completely leaving out my experiences from living at the Iguana Research and Breeding Station (IRBS) on the Bay Island of Utila in Honduras, and my trip to Nicaragua with fellow FBC intern B and her sis. I have a hard time finding a healthy balance between enjoying being in the moment of my new and exciting surroundings and taking the time to write about these experiences. Maybe one day I will master that art, but in the meantime I am too excited to backtrack to those stories in the past so that I can share what's happening in the present.

I am in Central America. Again. Just when I thought living 6 months in Honduras would satisfy this constant urge to be immersed in Latino culture, I made the decision to return after barely one month of having come home to Ottawa. The reason I chose to do so is not because I don't love the city, my friends or family, because I truly do. I have loved being home, seeing old and new friends alike: from high school to FBC. I have gone to Caliente, the local Latin dance club, several times to practice my salsa, merengue, bachata and reggaeton moves. I was nostalgic every time. Going to the Latin block party on Sparks Street downtown was a great time, making it feel like summer for just a fleeting moment before the clouds rolled in. Permanently. The weather in Ottawa has seriously been sub-par this season. Just when I was hoping to have 2 summers this year, I will only be having one, which will be in the Caribbean. I honestly can't complain. I am so grateful I could finally redeem those 40,000 Aeroplan points I've been saving up for what feels like forever, to invest a whole $78 in taxes to make this flight possible.

So here I am, sitting in an airport cafe, having now eaten all 3 pupusas and feeling no remorse. I will proceed to finish the smoothie which is a serious explosion of flavour, and I will top it all off with a coffee. I'm not sure how Salvadoran coffee is since I don't recall ever having tried it, but with Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Costa Rica having a good track record, I don't think I will be disappointed. I don't think it's possible to be any more disappointed than I was when I had no other choice but to drink Mr. Sub coffee at the Ottawa Greyhound bus station. It was foul. Rank. Pumped with caffeine and drained of flavour. I know I'm a coffee snob after having tasted the real deal here in Central America. The table I am sitting at with my ghetto laptop has coffee beans under a glass pane which has to be a good sign, as if it were such a big commodity that it can be used purely for decoration. As a side note, we should be inspired to do the same with flax seed in Canada because we are apparently a big exporter, something I discovered by chance in a supermarket in Managua, Nicaragua.

Only 4 hours left before I board my next flight to the "most violent city on Earth" according to the Guardian, where I will be welcomed by the suave taxi driver I had the pleasure of meeting the last time I was there. I will stay at the Posada Bed & Breakfast, a sweet place with a pool where I stayed with my parents as they were heading home and with B and her sis as we finished our trip in Nicaragua...so many memories!
I wish I could experience them all over again but I'm excited to make new ones, particularly while doing my Dive Master course at Turtle Eco Bay Resort in Cayos Cochinos! If I see a turtle I think I'll cry happy tears. Scuba diving can be an emotional sport.